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Great Canadian's McLeod Dies

Great Canadian's McLeod Dies

Ross McLeod, chairman and chief executive officer of the Great Canadian Gaming Corp., died unexpectedly on September 5. The company owns about two dozen casinos and other hospitality venues in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Washington state.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the cause of death was not immediately clear, but McLeod had undergone heart surgery in 2009. He was 59.

GCG President Rod Baker has been appointed as interim CEO of the company.

By the age of 18, McLeod already had his own business, touring midways from western British Columbia to Manitoba with games of chance. He founded Great Canadian Gaming after legislative changes opened the doors for charity gambling, the Sun reported.

“That’s how this whole gaming industry in British Columbia started,” said Great Canadian Vice President Howard Blank. “It was Ross, starting Great Canadian Casino Supply Company, where they went out to different ballrooms and put on social-occasion casino nights.”

As the industry evolved, Great Canadian helped to design B.C.’s gaming regulations.

“He was an incredibly passionate British Columbian and Canadian,” said Grace McCarthy, cabinet minister. “He was never asked for anything that he did not respond to, with real heart, with real cheerfulness.”

Great Canadian employs more than 4,000 people at properties including the River Rock Casino, Boulevard Casino, Hastings Park and the Red Robinson Theatre.